Maximizing Your Internship Experience

By: Andrew

The internship search process can be a time consuming and at times frustrating one. Eventually though, a large amount of students end up finding internships that fit their interests. What is important to remember is that landing an internship is only the beginning to your internship experience. As the summer gets closer and closer you will need to start realizing what you want to get out of your upcoming internship and how you want to go about achieving what you set out to do! Everyone goes into their internship experience with different goals and ideas in mind, but here are the big ones from my internship at Target this past summer that I think can be applied to a lot of internships.

Max internship

Ask Questions

The beauty of an internship is that you are not a full-time employee and that you have the liberty to ask questions that full-time employees may not ask. This does not mean that you should ask anything inappropriate, but it does give you the opportunity to pick the brains of people highly experienced in their field. Asking a question is also a great way to prove that you care about the work you are doing and that you are interested in the organization. The biggest takeaway from this portion of my internship this summer was that asking questions brought together the team I was on to a higher level of thinking. By challenging one another’s ideas and asking if there was a better way to go about doing something made our outcomes the best they could be.

Network

You were offered a certain position for your internship because you and your recruiter thought it would be your best fit at the time. Though you are in your position for the summer, you should take every opportunity that you can to meet other interns and employees from departments all across the company to see what their jobs are like. For me, it allowed me to take a break from my day-to-day routine and it also allowed me to see what I really wanted to be doing at Target. The best part about networking I would say is that the people you meet at any company are going to be quite interesting people with their own unique story.

Work Hard, Play Hard

As a fellow Peer Educator in our office is ever so fond of saying, it really is true. The team that you are on or the people evaluating your performance ultimately want to see that you can get quality work done, and are also human at the same time. The work you do is what you will be evaluated on, and the attitude you bring to the table everyday is what they will remember you by. In my final evaluation, my mentor and manager said that my attitude was one of the things that impressed them most. As I said, the work you do matters, but always remember to have fun with it and make it your own!

Hopefully this blog post gives you a few things to think about as you get closer to summer and your internship. For me, I did not know these things would be three big things that stuck out in my internship experience, and I found that they really made my internship great!

Read Andrew’s other posts

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About ellenhatfield

New professional in the field of Student Affairs in Higher Education. I am a Career Counselor at the University of MN Duluth.

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